Growing up in Colorado, Katharine Leede may not have expected to be a surfer girl, but after her first experience at a Walking on Water Surf camp five years ago, she was hooked. She has gone back to camp every year since.

It was during some rough times in middle school that Katharine first attended camp, and looking back she sees that the camps were truly life-changing for her.

“Every year I come to WOW so pumped about surfing, and I have met these amazing people who are so encouraging who helped renew my faith in God…Then I always get to surf a ton, so it’s really a double whammy.”

Katharine got baptized at her first WOW camp, and when her parents saw how camp had impacted her, they wanted to get to know Bryan Jennings and the leaders at the camp, too. Through this relationship, the Leede family offered to open their home in Aspen, Colorado for last spring’s amazing WOW Leadership retreat.

Katharine believes that her experiences with WOW and the encouragement she has received through the summer camps and the leadership retreat also played a big role in getting her excited to go on a mission trip to Haiti (hoperisinghaiti.org) through her high school last spring. Her trip was so powerful, and she felt such a connection to the Haitian people, she already returned to Haiti this summer.

She has begun fundraising and organizing another trip for early in 2017. Katharine also plans to be a Junior Counselor at the WOW middle school camp next summer! One of Katharine’s favorite verses is Proverbs 4:18: “The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.” Katharine says, “Walking on Water has been that kind of dawn for me, and inspired me to be that kind of light for others as well.”